Once your stakeholder requirements for a project have been captured, documented and approved, you need to define the scope for the project. It is critical to craft a concise and complete statement of scope that documents what the project will produce and what it will not. The scope statement will provide the basis for project planning. If the scope is not captured correctly, potentially costly changes will need to be made later in the project life in order to satisfy stakeholder expectations.
Project scope is defined as the work that will be performed to deliver the result of the project. The project scope statement is a more elaborate narrative of the work and includes the:
Documenting the scope statement illustrates the concept of progressive elaboration. The process of creating the scope statement begins with the information captured in the project charter, which contains the high level scope as it was known. As stakeholders were engaged in the requirements elicitation process, the elements of scope became more defined and clear. As the requirements were analyzed, reviewed, prioritized, and approved, the scope was refined and clarified even more.
The scope statement then, documents this more refined and more detailed understanding of what the project is expected to produce. To create the scope statement:
Once the elements above are documented in the scope statement, the document should be distributed to stakeholders for final review and approval.
When approved, use the scope statement to guide decisions on what work will and will not be done during the project. Also use the scope statement as the basis to determine when the work of the project is complete, and whether that work is accepted.
Jim Muller has been working as a Project/Program Manager for over 20 years. He has managed projects for IT/IT as well as on the business side. Projects ranged from $100 million IS development program, mergers and acquisitions, the launch of business products, and physical relocations of business units. Jim has also worked on the development of internal PM Methodologies, implemented a Project Management Office, and continually provided coaching and mentoring for project management staff. Jim has provided project management training for companies as well as teaching at the university level.